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State Budget Deadline

A looming deadline approaches for the new State Budget. The spending plan is due to be in place within a few days. The question is — Will the State Legislature have the new budget ready? That’s what we asked Governor Josh Shapiro Thursday.

When discussing budget negotiations, especially now with talks in high gear, the Governor has a reminder about the political landscape in Harrisburg. Governor Shapiro saying: “I’m the only Governor in the entire nation with a divided legislature. House led by Democrats, and Senate led by Republicans. Everybody’s got very different ideas.”

Governor Shapiro proposed a $48.5 Billion State Budget, that includes a record $1.1 Billion increase in education funding. A State Court ruling last year said how Pennsylvania funds public schools is unconstitutional, and education funding, a major issue in budget talks. Cyber Charter Schools is one element. Earlier this month the House passing a Bill to reduce their State Funding. Representative Scott Conklin saying: “They don’t have the same criteria, regulations that the Public School does. But all of the money that pays your Cyber Charter comes out of your Local School.”

The Governor Thursday saying he didn’t want to discuss particular details in the budget talks. But he remains cautiously optimistic about a deal getting done by the June 30th deadline. Shapiro adding: “We have had very productive, very honest dialogue. Dialogue where every party involved understands that the only way we get this done is to compromise.”

Another issue being discussed, with the State Budget surplus currently in the billions of dollars, could that lead to a cut in personal income taxes. Both the State Senate and House have scheduled possible voting sessions throughout the upcoming weekend.

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